Dancing with the Stars season 24 had a lot of top-tier dancing talent in its cast, from Olympians to pop stars to one actual professional dancer. Here’s a look back at my 15 favorite routines from this season.
#15 Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy with Alan Bersten: Jive (Week 8, Quarterfinals)
I can overlook the extended part with Normani standing on the judges’ table because she wasn’t the star of this dance. Val and Alan, hamming it up for the cameras and ripping off their shirts, was what made it worth watching.
#14 David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: Freestyle (Week 10, Finals)
A fun, giant baseball spectacle, this routine had bats, synchronicity and a tremendous spirit. David wasn’t the best dancer, but he knew how to please a crowd.
#13 Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: Contemporary (Week 8, Quarterfinals)
The story and concept, with Normani fighting against racist bullying, was powerful. This routine wasn’t about the actual dancing as much as it was about the statement.
#12 Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd: Pinocchio Jazz (Week 5, Disney Night)
This might seem like an odd pick for this list, but I truly loved Nick’s goofiness and willingness to completely embrace the character of a puppet boy. His commitment made this dance work.
#11 Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: Contemporary (Week 4, Most Memorable Year Night)
A routine dedicated to his father, it was emotional and exquisitely danced with wonderful fluidity of movement.
#10 Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev: Samba (Week 3, Vegas Night)
After two weeks of overthinking her steps, Nancy cut loose with his sexy Samba, shaking her bon-bon and delivering a performance with both content and entertainment.
#9 David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: Waltz (Week 8, Quarterfinals)
This sweet daddy/daughter dance was tender and endearing, turning away from his silliness and highlighting his giant heart.
#8 Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: Freestyle (Week 10, Finals)
Ethereal and magical, this inspirational message of hope and love was a perfect ending to her story, and extraordinarily danced.
#7 Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: Silent Film Charleston (Week 7, A Night at the Movies)
These two were perfectly cast in a Vaudeville-style number that had strong moves and tons of great tricks, lifts and flips.
#6 Heather Morris and Alan Bersten: Tango (Week 3, Vegas Night)
I’m a sucker for Heather’s Brittany from Glee and watching her strut her stuff to Britney Spears, and actually bringing the content instead of relying on hip-hop, was a joy.
#5 Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: Mulan Paso Doble (Week 5, Disney Night)
A fierce battle of female empowerment, this dance had strength and a cool little fight sequence in the middle.
#4 Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: Moana Contemporary (Week 5, Disney Night)
In the battle of female empowerment anthems on Disney Night, I slightly preferred Simone’s upbeat, hopefully dance to Normani’s, but only by a smidge.
#3 Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jazz (Week 9, Semifinals)
A fun celebration of New Orleans, this routine offered everything you could want and more, highlighting Normani’s many skills.
#2 Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Rumba (Week 6, Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups Night)
The first perfect score of the season deservedly went to this sizzling Rumba that was sexy and full of contrasts. The juxtaposition of speed and slowness added exciting layers to this dance.
#1 Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: Freestyle (Week 10, Finals)
This funktastic Freestyle had swagger, energy, lifts, a drumline breakdown and lots of excitement. Rashad never looked cooler and I never smiled more all season. In 24 seasons, this definitely deserves to rank somewhere in the Top 10 of Freestyles.